1. Don't Own A Car
If you don't own a car you will be forced to use alternative methods of transport, such as public transport and buses. When we have a car, we think they are indispensable, but, when we live without a car we realise how many other alternatives there are.
2. Buy a Fuel Efficient Car
If the idea of not owning a car sounds too drastic, at least buy a fuel efficient car. Some cars especially SUVs, can require double the amount of petrol of ordinary cars. Switching to smaller, more fuel efficient cars will save you money in the long term. Many cars have engines far larger than necessary; what is the point of having a car with a top speed of 160mph, when the speed limit is 70 mph?
3. Car Sharing
For commuting or long distance travelling, always think if you could share the journey with other people. This has the potential to halve your petrol costs. Many cities such as Leeds UK and Los Angeles see the benefits of encouraging car sharing and offer special lanes just for people with more than 1 person in the car.
4. Drive Less
Instinctively, we get used to driving everywhere, because it is often the easiest mode of transport. However, for each journey we can examine whether:
- Is it necessary?
- there is an alternative type of transport.
5. Buy a Bike
50% of car journeys are less than 2 miles. These journeys will involve low speeds at which fuel consumption will be relatively high. These journeys can easily be taken by bike. They will save both money and time. A bike is also easier to park and navigate. If you get a bike you will save many car journeys are petrol. (see 7 ways to save money with cycling)
6.. Avoid Speeding
A car has the greatest fuel efficiency at about 60mph. If you accelerate hard from 60 to 80, there will be a big % increase in fuel consumption. If you stick in the left hand lane of a motorway, you will use less petrol because:
- 60-70 is the most fuel efficient speed
- You will also benefit from the drafting effect of being behind lorries (not too close) but even at a difference you will benefit from reduce air flow.
I learnt this technique through cycling. When cycling you think hard about how to save effort. For example, if you see traffic lights in the distance, you allow the car to slow down naturally, neither accelerating or braking. Some people keep the foot on the accelerator and then have to brake hard for the lights. This uses excess petrol. It is better to try and allow the car to travel with its own momentum, and slow down in anticipation of roundabouts and lights rather than leave it to the last second. In traffic jams, try to avoid sudden start and stopping, instead try to keep the car crawling along, this will save petrol.
8. Buy Cheapest Petrol
The price of petrol can vary by 5-15% depending on where you buy it. Make a note of cheapest petrol stations and buy it whenever you pass. Avoid having to fill up on motorways where the cost will be upto 15% higher
9. Increase Efficiency of Car.
The fuel consumption of your car can be increased by maximising the efficiency of your car in various ways:
- Use correct tyre pressure and check regularly. Many motorists fail to check tyre pressure and end up using more petrol because their car has become more inefficient
- Reduce Weight. Don't carry around unnecessary weight in the boot. More weight will increase fuel consumption especially driving up hills.
- Increase aerodynamics. Keeping an empty roof rack on a car will increase the inefficiency of driving and fuel consumption. Remove it where possible.
Rather than driving to out of town centre shops, take advantage of online delivery. These not only save you money, but also time.